Yangon: Gaurav Pratap Singh rode on a flawless front nine to blast five-under 67 for a share of the fifth place after the first round of the Air Bagan Myanmar Open golf tournament.
Among other Indians in the fray, Indian Open winner C Muniyappa opened his campaign with a sedate three-under 69 to lie tied 24th, one shot ahead of Himmat Rai, Digvijay Singh and Anirban Lahiri, who share the 31st place.
Rising star Gaganjeet Bhullar`s modest one-Under 71 had him at tied 44th, two strokes ahead of Gurki Shergill.
Kolkata pro Rahil Gangjee (73) will have to come up with an improved show tomorrow to make the cut, while Firoz Ali`s campaign looks as good as over after he went four-over 76.
Japan`s Tetsuji Hiratsuka set a new course record of eight-under 64 to take the first round lead, bettering Australian Gavin Flint`s 66.
Playing his back nine first in the USD 300,000 event, Gaurav Pratap was one-under after his first nine holes before he stepped on gas at the Pun Hlaing Golf Club.
He birdied the first hole and parred the next four before reeling off a birdie hat-trick for a strong finish.
"I`m happy with what I shot. I had a good stretch when I birdied from the sixth hole through to the eighth," said Gaurav Pratap.
He said the strong start has calmed his nerves and he was hoping to hang in for a decent finish.
"When you play in your first year on the Asian Tour, you feel really tensed. But you need a good start to boost your confidence. I got a good start now and I just need to convert this good start into something positive," he said.